Why I Am Done Struggling With My Sin

I’m not going to lie, this past month I have been completely discouraged in my walk with God. I feel like I have “overcome” the same sin so many times only to struggle with it again. I find myself feeling like I should be past this in my walk with God, like I already checked this off my “overcome list” so why is it back again? Being discouraged, it has been extremely difficult to write a blog post. Actually I kept telling myself that once I stop struggling with this, then I will write another post. 

But the other day I was talking to Tj about  overcoming sin and he said something that really opened my eyes. 

God doesn’t expect me to overcome my sins, He just expects me to obey Him. 

By my own will power, I can’t overcome sin. Actually apart from Christ in me, there would be no reason for  me to want to overcome my sin. I  can do nothing to overcome  my sin, because I am by nature nothing but sinful. Only Christ can. 

Hello Bryonna, that is the whole point of the cross!?? How could I have not of seen this? It’s funny how pride can cloud our vision…

It isn’t that God is asking me everyday to sacrifice my fleshly and sinful desires, but that everyday He is asking  me to obey Him. 

1 Samuel 15:22 “….to obey is better than sacrifice..”

So I will probably struggle with the same stuff I always have. I may never overcome anything, but Jesus has overcome sin and when we wants to deliver me then He will. 

I am done struggling with my sins, fighting the same fight. I have decided to focus on obeying God, then overcoming sin will come in due time.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

When You Can’t Pray It Away

“Prayers go up Blessings come down.”

I saw that on a church sign the other week and I kind of cringed. Not because it isn’t true, but because it is misleading. Instead, they should have put “Prayers go up Answers come down.”

Not always what we want. Not always when we want. Sometimes, it seems like nothing comes down at all. Like God left and didn’t even leave a recording telling us to leave a message so He can get back to us later.

John 11:1-6 “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”

Did you catch that? I never did until a Bible study I recently finished pointed it out. When Jesus heard that Lazarus (whom he loved) was ill, He didn’t get up and rush out to go heal him and comfort his sisters. Instead, he stayed where He was at for two more days.

After Jesus arrives, Mary falls at His feet and says “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” The Jews questioned Him, if he could heal the blind shouldn’t he be able to heal the dying? (Verses 32-37)

But Jesus had greater plans than to just heal a dying Lazarus. He wanted to bring to life a dead Lazarus! A dead Lazarus who had been buried for 4 days (verse 39). Jesus’ timing is perfect. There is always a reason. It may not seem like a good reason to us, but it is a reason that works out for our own good. No, Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus. But he did raise him from the dead.

Whenever Lazarus had died, and Jesus had still not shown up to heal him, I am sure Mary was heartbroken. Her hope was in Jesus, and He had seemingly, at the time, let her down. There are a lot of times I feel like Mary felt whenever her brother died, and Jesus never showed.

There are times when I will pray, about things that I know I can’t “pray away”. Or times I will pray about things and they just don’t go away.

When I can’t pray away the death in my family

When I can’t pray away the mistakes I have made in the past

When you can’t pray away the rejection from you job, friends, family…

When you can’t pray away the person you used to be

When you can’t pray away the test results from the doctor

There is one thing I know to do when I can’t pray it away… Pray anyways.

Even though God didn’t take away my difficult circumstances, I still pray. Even though I miscarried and I can’t pray away that it ever happened, I can still pray.

And praying has become my number one comfort. Because He is my only hope.

Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, I will hope in Him.”

 

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog post on how I can hope in a God who hurts me.
I had no idea after writing that post that I would miscarriage. 

How Can I Hope In A God Who Hurts Me

But even through this,  which has been the most heartbreaking thing I have ever been through, I can still look back and read that post and say I do still hope in God. 

Everyone has been telling me that God has a plan, He wants the best for me, He knows what He is doing… And it is true. And I am grateful for everyone who loves me, reminding me of His love for me. But through this I have learned that even though I do have a hope, that I do know God is still good, that I will one day see my baby, I have learned that it is still okay for me to be sad. I’m not okay, and it is fine. 

I cry because I am heartbroken but at the same time I know that God has the best in mind for me and Tj, that He loves me with a love I can’t wrap my mind around. I know this, I believe this with all my heart and I am still sad.

I cry because God took away my baby, but at the same time, My hope lies in Him alone.

Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, I will hope in him.”

Maybe you haven’t experienced what I have, maybe you lost a loved one, maybe you have a prodigal child, maybe you lost your job, whatever it is, you can trust in God 100% and still be sad. And for me, that has been one of the most comforting things.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”

It’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes there are no words that can make your situation better. Sometimes all you can do is cry, and that’s okay. 

If Satan Stops Eating

Last week me and my family were sitting around the kitchen talking about pets. Someone started to tell a story that literally gave me chill bumps.

Apparently, a girl who had a pet boa constrictor took him to the vet because he had stopped eating a couple weeks ago. So she was worried about him.

The vet asked her if recently it had started stretching out next to her when she was laying down. And she said yes, that whenever she would lay down in bed, he would stretch his body out besides hers.

The vet then told her that nothing was wrong with her pet snake. In fact, the reason he had stopped eating a couple weeks ago, is because he is making room for when he plans on eating her. And that whenever he stretches out beside her on the bed, he is measuring her to determine how much room he will need to eat her.

Creepy right? 

Little do we realize that as Christians, we get just as close and naive towards our sin and Satan, who is someone much more deadlier than a boa constrictor.

A couple months ago I wrote a blog post about how sin can slither into your life seemingly right under your nose.Just like how that girl got comfortable around her deadly pet, I start to get comfortable around my sin. I start to let it get closer and closer, until suddenly its right up next to me and I am perfectly fine with it. 

Sin so easily slithers up next to us because by nature we are sinful beings. We are born comfortable around it.
Whenever I wrote my blog post about sin slithering in, I figured that I was through with that battle. I got past it, God delivered me from it, and I grew from it. But how easily it crept back into my life, stretching itself out right next to me. And I didn’t even bat an eye. 

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

So, if you’re like me, pray that God will open your eyes to see when Satan stops eating. To see when he tries to stretch himself out beside you and devour you. Pray that you stay on guard, watchful. Because there are times when I wake up and see how close I let him get to me, and wonder how in the world I didn’t realize the danger I was in. 

How Can I Hope In A God Who Hurts Me

Job 2:9 “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”
Whenever I first read what Job’s wife said to him I couldn’t believe such a faithful man was married to someone like her. God had alllowed Satan to take away everything from Job, his family, his livestock, his servants, his health even. And of course Job was upset, but he never sinned against God. 

Ever since we got back from our honeymoon me and Tj have been serving God and following Him without question. We have sacrificed alot especially for a newly wed couple. Now, two years later, the loan for the house we wanted fell through, we have had marriage problems that I wasn’t sure how we were going to work out, tax season did not come out in our favor, and a loved one is about to pass away. 

When all of this started happening, my first reaction was anger. Why would God not bless us when we have sacrificed for Him? He is able to heal my grandma, so why isn’t He? Why is He putting something in our marriage that seems like its tearing us apart? 

Matthew 8:23-26 “And when he got nto the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was fast asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And He said to them, “Why are you afraid , O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”

The disciples were about to die, and Jesus was just sleeping. Why is He sleeping during what feels like the time I need him most?  To test my faith? 

The very next verse after He calms the storm is what really spoke to me.

“And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

He is the Son of God, who does have the power to heal (Matthew 8:16), in fact He had just got through healing many and casting out demons before He got on the boat. He can provide when there is nothing to provide with (Matthew 14:13-21). 

But, even if He didn’t calm the storm, if He didn’t heal the sick, if He didn’t feed the 5,000, He is still God.

Even though He decided not to give us that house, and make us pay in taxes, and decides not to heal my grandma, He is still God.

And that alone is more than enough reason for me to praise Him, and remain faithful in trusting that He desires good for me (Jeremiah 29:11). 

And also that He weeps with me. John 11:33 “When Jesus saw her weeping , and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled” verse 35 “Jesus wept.”

That doesn’t mean I won’t be upset or sad or disappointed. The book of Job is nothing but sorrow. 

But the last part of 2:10 is the key, “…in all this Job did not sin with his lips.”

But it gets even better! Job’s response to God’s hand of destruction was so beautiful. 

Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”

Yesterday I was in the car driving, just listening to music and thinking about the story of Job when this song came on Spotify. Here are some of the lyrics..

“I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt, would all go away if You just say the word, but even if You don’t, my hope is You alone”

https://youtu.be/B6fA35Ved-Y (Mercy Me Even If)
If that isn’t perfect timing then I don’t know what is. 

So, when it comes down to it I do have a little (maybe more than I want to admit) of Job’s wife in me. My first reaction is anger towards God. Just curse Him and die! But I’m glad that He has mercy on me enough to work on my heart and turn it into something more like Job’s. 

I Don’t Want The Crumbs

In my grandma’s house, on top of her piano, are old black and white pictures of her grandparents, great grandparents, cousins, etc… She has told me their names before and how I’m related to them but honestly, I couldn’t tell you if I was paid to (Sorry Nanny).
I do remember though, that whenever she talks about the people in the pictures, I can tell that they mean alot to her. Because she knew them personally, for herself, firsthand. The difference between my relationship with them, and my grandma’s reationship with them is that she knew them personally, while I just know second-hand acounts, stories, and basically just a brief overview of who they are. 


When I was first saved, I wouldn’t study the Bible for myself. My spiritual life was barely surviving on devotionals sent to my email each morning, seeing a verse against a pretty background on Instagram, and reading a cheesy, cliche, christian quote on Facebook. While those things can be good, they can’t sustain me a healthy relationship with God. 

I love to listening to John Piper’s Ask Pastor John videos on Youtube. They are short, thought provoking, and are filled with good Biblical principles that I can apply to my life. But I have noticed that instead of going and reading the Bible for myself to see what God has to show me, I will scrolll through Youtube and find a John Piper message that I feel like applies to me for that day. 

Going to church and listening to sermons is a good thing, but when you start to depend on the preacher to be your only line of communication between you and God, it isn’t so much a good thing anymore.

Whenever I tell people about Jesus, I want to speak of him like my grandma does with the pictures on her piano. I want to have a genuine care and relationship. A first hand account of my relationship with Him, not John Piper’s relationship with Him, or my pastor’s relationship with him, or even what a devotional says about my relationship with Him. I want a first hand account, personal relationship with Him. 

Psalm 119:103 “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Yes, reading daily devotions, listening to sermons, reading clever christian quotes can be a good thing. They can feed my spiritual life and sustain me. But in comparison for actually reading and studying the Bible for myself, those are just the crumbs. I don’t want to live off of the crumbs from the Bread of Life!

John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

So whenever I tell an unbeliever about Jesus Christ, I want them to hear it in my voice that I know Him. Not just second-hand stories, but personally know Him like my grandma knew the people in the pictures on her piano. Why settle for just the crumbs when I can open up the Bible and read what God has to say to me for the day:) 

I Don’t Love My Husband

“Tj when we get home do you care taking Moose out to go potty while I hop in the shower?” (moose is our puppy)

“Sure.”

….. It wasn’t that he said sure. But it was the way he said it.  

“Whatever Tj.”

We got home, he took Moose outside and I got in the shower seriously debating on whether or not to leave him any hot water (I’m a monster, I know.) 

While I was in there debating on whether or not to give into my pride I remembered something I had read earlier today in A Woman’s Walk With GOD by Elizabeth George.

“Love is the sacrifice of self.” 

Earlier today when I was reading that book in my room, cup of coffee in my hand. It seemed like a great concept and all. But now a couple hours later, I’m not so sure…

 The truth is, I knew this for awhile. God is love. God sent his only Son to die. Jesus sacrificed his life for us. As a Christian I am suppose to show His love to everyone around me. It just never really clicked until today that love is sacrificing my pride, my comfort, my  energy, my time, my rest, my wants, my needs, my opinions, my desires, for someone elses. 

Matthew 20:28 “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

True love is not self seeking.

William Barclay said “Love means that no matter what a man may do to us by way of insult or injury or humiliation we will never seek anything else but his highest good…never..seek anything but the best even for those who seek the worst for us.”

Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”

As  wife I am called to put Tj’s needs before mine. Not because I love him, but because I am suppose to demonstrate God’s love for him. The only way I will ever be able to truly love someone is if it is from God. Not only that, but because I love God, I should want to love others.  

Maybe you don’t have a husband. But if you are a Christian, this still applies to you. We are called to love our neighbors, our enemies, our friends, our family, that mean lady in the checkout line, the annoying co-worker, the bully at school or work, etc…. (John 13:34) (Matthew 5:43-45)

But if you aren’t saved and you never received Christ into your heart, then you don’t know what true love is. You can’t truly love someone. 

Whenever Jesus died on the cross to take the payment for our sins, and He rose again in three days, He showed us the greatest act of self-sacrificing love. He literally sacrficed himself for our sake. If you want self sacrificing love in your life, if you want to love someone with a self-sacrificing love, you can only do that if you received it from God himself by admiting that you are a sinner worthy of death, and that you believe Jesus was the Son of God and rose from the dead. 

Romans 3:23-24 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

So, yes I love Tj. But I don’t always love him like I suppose to.

I don’t think I had a choice in falling in love with TJ (that was God’s plan). But  I do have a choice in loving him everyday with a self sacrificing love that can only come from God. 

When The Whipped Cream Goes Flying

I’m unnaturally clumsy. Not only am I clumsy, but I also have terrible luck. Bad things just always seem to happen to me that never happen to normal people. It is almost like life is a bully and I’m the little kid whose glasses are taped together. Maybe I’m having a pity party, but even my husband admits that bad things always seem to happen to me. Particularly involving drinks.

Today Tj took me to a local boutique to buy a sweatshirt that I had been on the fence about buying for awhile. This was not just any sweatshirt, it was a “dreamy soft” (that’s what the tag said), faded blue, vintage, kind of girl-next-door looking sweatshirt. 

All for just 34.98 

Of course as soon as I got in the car I ripped the tags off and put it on:) It really was dreamy soft! 

Anyways, fast forward 10 minutes later to the Mcdonald’s drive through, Tj got him a strawberry milkshake and me a hot chocolate. 

I opened up the flap to take a sip….and whipped cream came flying out all over my face, my hair, and…. My new sweatshirt. 

See? Bad luck. 

And I got so irritated and angry when it happened. At first I was mad at the guy at Mcdonald’s who made the hot chocolate.  Then I got mad at myself for spending that much money on a stupid shirt. Then I got mad at God for always allowing this kind of stuff to happen to me. 

Something that I struggle with, and always have, is anger. With a flip of a switch I can be the happiest, goofiest girl around, to being angry and bitter. And it’s always because of little stuff like flying whip cream that makes me turn. And it is normally taken out on those I love the most. Probably because I know they will always love me, no matter how ugly I can get. 

While I was sitting in the car with whipped cream dripping from my face and waiting for Tj to get back with napkins (Mcdonald’s forgot the napkins, imagine that;) God brought to my mind the story of Jonah. Growing up I knew his story, but not really. All I had been taught was that if you don’t do what God wants you too, you will probably end up in a whale’s belly. But what I didn’t learn was how the book of Jonah ended. 

Jonah finally preached to Nineveh, and they repented. But then he got angry because he hated the people of Nineveh. (4:1-4)

He left the city and sat down to watch what will happen to the city and God made a plant to grow up beside Jonah, and give him shade so he would be comfortable.Jonah was super happy! After all, he did just preach to a people he hated and been through the belly of a whale and back. A little shade, I’m sure, was much appreciated.  (4:5-6)

But then God took away the plant. A worm attacked it, and it withered then died. (4:7)

Jonah got angry. “It is better for me to die than to live.” (4:8) 

(What a brat, right?)

Then God answers him, “Do you well to be angry at the plant?” (4:9)

Was Jonah benefitting anything at all from being angry at a plant for living and dying? Was his situation changing any? Not at all. Now I think that if I was in his situation, I would be like “You know what God, you’re right. This isn’t doing me any good!” 

But every week something will happen, and I flip. Whether it’s me spilling a drink on myself or Tj leaving his kleenex in the living room floor. I always get angry. And I never benefit from it. In fact, I normally lose from it. 

Jonah answered God and said “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” (4:9)

I wish I could say that me and Jonah don’t have anything in common. No, I never have been swallowed by a whale. But I have gotten angry about things that I have no control over. About things that happen in everyday life to everyday people. I have gotten angry at those I love most and treated them like they mean nothing to me. I have asked God what is the point of life and why does He keep allowing bad stuff to happen to me.  Me and Jonah have more in common than I would like there to be.

James 1:19-20 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

Looking back I can see how far I have come from where I used to be. There is alot of times that I give into anger and I know there will be more. But it gives me hope seeing how God has changed my heart from what it once was to what it is now. 

So next time the whip cream goes flying all over my brand new shirt (which I hope it doesn’t) I will ask myself “Do it well to be angry?” Because more likely than not, giving into my anger will only make things worse. 

When Sin Slithers Inย 

The past two weeks have been a struggle for me. I have struggled with a sin that I did not see coming. It has made me ask questions about sin that I never thought before. 

I asked God to take away my attraction to this sin, and to help me resist it. But in my mind Satan began to plant seeds of pride and start to convince me that because God made me and knew what I was and wasn’t attracted to, that my sin was somehow justified. 

But that is a lie. It wasn’t my attraction that was a sin, but my sin itself that is a sin (that should’ve been obvious to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

An attractive guy can walk past and I won’t think twice about him. Thats not wrong. But if an attractive guy walks past me and I give into lustful thoughts, that is when it becomes a sin. 

Mark 7:14-15 “And he called the people to him again and said to them,โ€œHear me, all of you, and understand:There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”

And honestly, this spiritual battle came out of nowhere. I didn’t see it coming. One day I was close and in tune with God, and the next I felt distant and disinterested.

1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”

1 Peter 5:8 says the devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking to devour. 

If I seen a lion roaring and eating everything in it’s path I would’ve ran. Fast. But sometimes, Satan doesn’t come in the form of a lion but a snake. He lurks by without you even knowing. He slithers into the shadows waiting to strike. And when he does, it takes a toll. It makes me disinterested, calloused, and has lasting effects.  

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Even once I repented and have been forgiven he makes me feel unworthy to minister, write, laugh, pray, and read. Sin leaves behind a bitter feeling of shame. And shame is different than guilt…

Shelia Walsh said, “Guilt tells you you’ve done something wrong. Shame tells you you are something wrong.”

Romans 5:3-5 

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 

 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s lovehas been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.


When my husband first told me this verse I kind of blew him off.. Im not suffering… Im struggling with sin.

But the Greek for this word makes it alot more clear.. It also means burdened and anguish. 

Maybe it does apply to me after all…. 

This all works together to produce hope. And in hope we are not put to shame. So next time sin slithers into my life, I can know my temptations and battles can lead me to hope and that I don’t have to have shame because of God’s love that was poured out on the cross.

Here is a link to a message by Shelia Walsh about shame. It helped me alot and I hope it does you as well!

I’m an Inbetween

Last night me and Tj went to a fall party with my family and some friends. I had a lot of fun, and a lot of food;)

One thing I realized last night though, is that God brings us through different seasons of our life, to draw us closer to Him. 

The past two years have been an inbetween season for me. By that I mean a transitioning stage. I have gotten married, gone through two jobs, moved three times, and gone to at least 4 different churches. Along the way I have made awesome new friends, and lost some. I have outgrown alot of things spiritually. The past two years have been wonderful in the sense that I get to be with my best friend every day and that I now have an awesome church family who I love. But there has been times when I would just cry because a certain season of my life has ended. It has been difficult for me to accept the fact that God has a plan and that it is for my good (Jeremiah 29:11). 

I have been in situations when two years ago, I would have felt perfectly normal in. But now I feel a little bit out of place. When me and TJ first got married, our old friends didn’t want to hang out with us as much. One reason was because we didn’t like to watch and do some of the same things they did, but another reason was because we had gone from being girlfriend and boyfriend, to husband and wife. It was a little disheartening for us to find people to hang out with who were our age and married. But, me and Tj don’t have kids, so whenever we are around other couples we like and they have kids, i can kind of feel a little out of place. It’s like I am stuck between two stages of life and not quite sure what to do about it. 

The past two years, though they have been wonderful and I wouldn’t change them for anything, has been difficult to navigate through. But looking back, I see how I have grown so much spiritually and closer to God. 

I look back to the moments He allowed me to feel alone and broken-hearted, so I would finally stop and listen to Him beckoning me. 

In my moments of loneliness was when I now realize I was the most sought-after.

Whenever I feel like I finally can be myself around people, and I have great friendships going, and I get to hang out with my family alot, is usually when I start forgetting that my relationship with God matters most. 

“Not that I am speaking of being in need for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Phillipians 4:13 
Looking back, I am now thankful for all the lonely tears that I shed because those were the moments when I stopped and listened to God saying that HE, above all else, wants me. He loves me, and He seeks after me??!! He so wants to be close to me that He gets me alone to show me that He alone, can fulfill me. 

Psalm 73:28 “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.”
In this verse the word flesh is also interpretted as flesh relation, near kin (family), blood relation, your self.

In the same verse, the word heart can be interpretted as thinking, memory, determination, emotions.

The word fail can also be interpretted as spent up, wasted away, vanish, perish, be destroyed, to be at an end, to cease.

So another way of reading this would be,

My family (or friends) and my emotions may cease, but God is the strength of my heart and my possession for ever.

Right now, I’m still at that awkward inbetween stage of life. Maybe you are too. Maybe you just retired, or your kids moved out, perhaps you moved out. Maybe you moved away from all your family and friends, or you’re trying to find a new church home. Maybe you just got saved and you’re in that stage where you old friends and old way of life isn’t as appealing as it once was. Where ever you’re at, don’t forget to look and listen for God in your moments of loneliness. And don’t let your moments of loneliness affect your relationship with God. Make the most out of your inbetween stages of life.